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HVACR Industry Loses Pioneer

It is with great sadness that HVAC Excellence announce the passing of Turner Collins, one of the founding fathers of HVACR programmatic accreditation.
Turner Collins
Turner Collins

Collins, a veteran of the Vietnam War, served as a paratrooper in the 82nd airborne division, an elite infantry division of the army that specializes in parachute assault operations. Upon returning home, he embarked on a forty-year career in the HVACR industry. As he mastered his craft, he was recruited to become an HVACR instructor, where he spent thirty-years as Senior HVACR Instructor with what is now the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Jacksboro, Tennessee. It is in this role where Turner left his mark on the HVACR industry.

In the late 1990’s the Tennessee Board of Regents mandated that their technological programs obtain programmatic accreditation, but quickly realized that no such process was in place for HVACR programs. Two educational leaders in the state of Tennessee, Turner Collins, and his immediate supervisor Coy Gibson, were tasked with identifying an organization that could establish national standards, and accreditation guidelines for HVACR educational programs. As a result, HVAC Excellence assembled a team of subject matter experts, including Collins and Gibson, to collaborate and develop such standards.
While Turner Collins is no longer with us, his legacy lives on. Because of his efforts, HVACR programs across the United States can assure prospective students that their HVACR program meets or exceeds industry standards. Thousands of technicians who graduated from accredited programs and enjoy success in the industry, owe some of their success to the behind-the-scenes work of Turner Collins. Although instructors often look back upon the lives they helped to change, the scope is often limited to those they had direct contact with. However, as a founding father of HVACR programmatic accreditation, Turner Collins’ efforts were carried out at a national, and historic level.
The HVACR industry has lost a true pioneer, and whether or not we knew him personally, we all benefited from his dedication to the industry. He will be missed.